Polarization characterizes the oscillations in time the electromagnetic field is doing in the plane perpendicular to the propagation direction of a wave

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What does electric field of unpolarized light look like when measured?

When we talk about fermions in mixed state, we say that their state can't be described by a wavefunction and just compute all the probabilities using density matrix. That's OK because the ...
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Why Does Light Not Become Polarized In A Magnetic and/or Electric Field?

I am familiar with the Faraday Effect, but I remain confused as to why the electric and/or magnetic components of light do not naturally align themselves with a magnetic or electric field (in a ...
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Polarization of light upon reflection

I was wondering (since I've looked pretty hard and haven't been able to find anything)- are there any models that explain the polarization of light upon reflection? Everywhere I've looked I've seen ...
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How do Optically Active Compounds Rotate Plane Polarized Light?

I am not sure if this is more of a Chemistry or a Physics question, but in my Organic Chem class we discussed that chiral molecules will rotate plane polarized light. However, my professor did not ...
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What happens when both of Polarizing filter in LCD screen are Horizontal

What would be the result if we replace the vertical polarizing filter in LCD device (screen) with a horizontal filter, what could we see exactly? Would we see the same if we use only one horizontal ...
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Compact Disc Optics - Why use a linear polariser and a quarter wave plate?

I just came across this website about the application of a quarter wave plate. Link: Compact Disc Optics. My question is why does the beam need to be linearly and then circularly polarised before ...
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102 views

What causes these rainbow effects using a polarizing filter on an airplane?

I know that light reflected from a surface at 45° is polarized and that for a similar reason skylight arriving from a direction orthogonal to the sun is polarized too. Photographers make use of this ...
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39 views

Does photon polarization take place without scattering processes?

Behind two perpendicular crossed polarisation filters (for visible light) the intensity of light will be zero. After installing a third filter between the two others non parallel to each of them some ...
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37 views

Significance of colours in photoelasticity

I already checked similar question at Physics SE, but none gives me a clear answer, also it is a bit difficult for me to understand it from wikipedia as I couldn't find relating material to my ...
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2answers
118 views

How to count the number of modes/polarizations of a Gaussian field theory?

A Gaussian (free) field theory is described by a quadratic action of the field, e.g. $S=\int\psi^\dagger K\psi$ (or $S=\frac{1}{2}\int\phi^\intercal K\phi$ for real fields). Usually one just need to ...
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Why does the electric field dominate in light?

I read a book on the wave property of light where the author mentioned that the electric field, instead of magnetic field, dominates the light property. I don't understand why. In Maxwell's theory, a ...
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Effective aperture of an isotropic antenna; question on polarisation

In this answer to Effective aperture of isotropic antenna, a factor of 1/2 was included to account for polarisation, but the antenna was isotropic. How can this discriminate polarisation?
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General solution of the four-vector with each component satisfying the wave-equation

Maybe this is more appropriate for Math stackexchange, but this question regards the solution we use in order to find representation for massive / massless spin-1 particle. When $$(\Box + m^2)A_\mu = ...
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108 views

Negative Capacitance in Ferroelectrics

From the Devonshire theory of ferroelectrics we can obtain Polarization vs. Electric Field curve at a given temperature. From the graph it can be seen that a portion of the curve has negative slope ...
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2answers
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Polarization in Nicol prism

My book reads "When unpolarized light is incident on nicol prism (made of 2 crystals joined by Canada balsam a type of glue) it divides into 2 rays, both rays are plane polarized and electric field ...
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Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the ...
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1answer
51 views

What sort of polarisation causes this effect

By some chance I acquired a pair of specialized '3d' glasses to be used in conjunction with a poster, such that when viewing the poster (which was a map of australia) the contours popped in and out of ...
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1answer
72 views

Linear and circular polarization in quantization of the EM field

I am going through the "Quantization of the EM field" in Chapter 7 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which basically goes like: The vector potential satisfies wave function $\nabla^2\mathbf ...
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1answer
125 views

Can a polarizing beam splitter cube be used to replace two polarizers?

I have a design for a setup to look at the light reflecting off the back of the human retina. I would like to remove any specular reflection that occurs at the cornea. At the moment the idea is to use ...
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52 views

Polarization modulation

To increase bandwidth, for EM free space communication, could you modulate the polarization, so that, e.g., for a one-meter wavelength radio wave, the polarization could be modulated between vertical ...
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1answer
50 views

How does one show specific thickness and wavelength determine full transmission of electromagnetic waves?

How does one show that thickness and wavelength determine the full transmission between two different dielectric media if the boundary condition equations between two dielectric media are independent ...
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2answers
133 views

Convert normal white light to laser-like light?

Is there a probable device that can convert white light to laser-like light without the need of an electrical stage in-between? I'm thinking of something along this level. A very precise filter and ...
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1answer
219 views

Why is there sometimes an additional term in the orthogonality relations for the polarization vectors?

When considering the polarization vectors of a massive spin-1 field, like an $A_\mu$ with Lagrangian density $$ \tag{A} \mathscr{L} = - \frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} + \frac{1}{2}M^2 A_\mu A^\mu,$$ ...
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59 views

Polarization in blackbody radiation

While doing some calculation in Statistical Mechanics of blackbody radiation from Huang's Statistical mechanics, I came across with the factor 2 which it says comes from two possible polarizations. ...
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What makes an insulator good for polarizing?

Water in an electric field become polarized easily, since the natural dipoles twist and turn to align with the field. In non-polar insulating materials, a redistribution of charge can happen in the ...
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1answer
829 views

Faraday rotation effect in circularly polarized waves?

We all know farady effect is observed in linearly polarized wave when it passes through a dielectric medium and magnetic field is along the direction of propagation. Is this phenomenon observable in ...
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132 views

How to treat partially polarized light with Jones vectors?

I have to calculate the degree of s-polarization (perpendicular) of a transmitted unpolarised light ray when it goes through a glass plate ($n=1.5$) at Brewster's angle (Brewster's window). ...
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1answer
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What happens if you remove the polarization filter from a computer monitor?

Have a look at this youtube video (and some extra footage here). Here I will post a gif showing in short what it is about: It shows that if you remove the polarizing filter from a pc's monitor and ...
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2answers
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What is the effect of polarization on diffraction by a narrow slit?

Consider the well known demonstration of diffraction by a narrowing slit. (See for example the demonstration at the 30 minute mark of this lecture at MIT by Walter Lewin) It is my (possibly mistaken) ...
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1answer
192 views

Electrostatics of Conductor

In an isolated conductor the extra positive or negative charges will be distributed on the surface uniformly. Hence there will be no charge inside the conductor, hence no field. But what accounts for ...
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81 views

Does polarization remove any of the fields completely?

A light is made up of electric and magnetic fields oriented perpendicular to each other. Can polarization lead to the removal of any of the fields completely?
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1answer
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In which direction due to a polarizing grid the photon's electric field is oriented?

After a photon passes the slit, is it's electric field oriented perpendicular or parallel to the slit and why this is so?
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1answer
197 views

photon polarization, uncertainty in Energy

A beam of red light is sent along the $z$ axis through a polaroid filter that passes only $x$ polarized light. The beam is initially polarized at $30$°, and the total energy is $10$ Joules. Estimate ...
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1answer
177 views

Non-polarised light

We know the beam of light oscillates in electric field and magnetic field, both perpendicular to both the wave of propagation and each other. What does, however, a non-polarised beam of light look ...
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How can we interpret polarization and frequency when we are dealing with one single photon?

If polarization is interpreted as a pattern/direction of the electric-field in an electromagnetic wave and the frequency as the frequency of oscillation, how can we interpret polarization and ...
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Explain materials with 4 fold symmetry having same reflectance when shone with LCP and RCP

This is my first post here. I am currently reading "Optical planar chiral metamaterial designs for strong circular dichroism and polarization rotation" by Do-Hoon Kwon, Pingjuan L. Werner, and ...
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Why photon only have helicity other than spin? [duplicate]

When learning angular momentum in quantum mechanics, a spin 1 particle have 3 states. Then I saw from sakurai's modern quantum mechanics that photon's two polarization are just like spins, but with ...
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Polarization of sound

Sound can't be polarized because the vibration of such type can't be polarized i.e, it can't be limited or controlled by any barriers and so polarization is not possible in them. This is what my ...
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Optics - Faraday Rotator using waveplates

I'm trying to replicate the effect of a 45° Faraday rotator using a series of waveplates instead. I've encountered some difficulties using the jones matrix notation, the main book I'm using is: ...
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3answers
440 views

How does the Ocean polarize light?

I know that the light gets polarized in the plane of the ocean, but why is that? It seems to me that the molecules are free to be in any position or location, so why is it that the 'vertical' ...
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Light Polarizer and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

I have stumped myself with a thought experiment of my own devising. Suppose I take a beam of wholly depolarised, but otherwise plane wave light. Its von Neumann entropy per photon is $\log(2)$ nats ...
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What is the connection between linear, circular and elliptical polarization versus perpendicular and parallel polarization?

In the EM course, we suddenly went from linear, circular and elliptical polarization to perpendicular and parallel polarization. What is the connection between these concepts and when it is ...
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Polarisation definition

What is more correct and what is the difference? Polarised waves are waves with vibrations in one direction perpendicular to energy propagation "vibrations in one plane" "vibrations in one direction ...
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163 views

Plane polarized light?

I have heard about plane polarized light: light wave which has vibration in one plane. My curiosity forces me to ask a doubt, is there any way to produce polarized light wave which has vibrations in ...
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Does infrared rays pass through polarized glass?

Actually I had asked in another post that "Does infrared rays pass through active shutter glass" but someone just commented that infrared rays dont pass through polarized glass. If infrared rays ...
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1answer
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Why Nitrides have internal polarization?

Why GaN has internal polarization? I know that in wurtzite crystal structure, the atomistic bonds are not equivalent and as a result there appears a net dipole and consequently a polarization. But ...
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Complex numbers in optics

I have recently studied optics. But I feel having missed something important: how can amplitudes of light waves be complex numbers?
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565 views

Unpolarized light vs. randomly rotating polarized light?

I am confused with physical picture about unpolarized light. Is unpolarized light very fast rotating polarized light? or co-existing state of two orthogonal polarization? (or something else?) If ...
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1answer
116 views

Spin FET Transistor

Spin FET Transistor. When a gate voltage is applied to a current of spin polarized electrons, a spin precession will occur. If this spin precession is enough to make the bulk electron spin ...
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1answer
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Can unpolarized light be created from polarized light?

I have a question regarding this topic. According Stokes Parameters theory, unpolarized light could be described as a superposition of two independent beams of equal intensity and orthogonal ...